Confederation of European Computer User Associations

Confédération Européenne des Associations d'Utilisateurs des Technologies de I'Information

Identity, trust and confidence, security in the digital world.

Paris Conference, February 12, 2004

In 1998 CECUA and its partners held a conference in Brussels titled "The Citizen in the Global Information Society". The topic of the conference was Expectations, Opportunities and Concerns of the Citizens of the Information Society. To our surprise most discussion was on the concerns, the concerns of the citizens of the Information Society. Major citizens' concerns were security and the lack of a secure zone in which to conduct business, allow their children to access the Internet safely and to have safe access to secure information from government and other sources. CECUA and its partners concluded that the citizens needed a "safety net" to enable them to work and play safely in the Global Information Society and published a Bill of Rights for the Citizens of the Information Society as a starting point for the debate on Internet Governance to ensure that the Internet met the needs and the same legal and societal standards of all citizens, especially European citizens. The Bill of Rights has 9 articles with a preamble. Each article is devoted to one particular issue. As an example article 4 is on Cultural Preservation, article 5 is on Right of Access to Information and article 9 Right of Redress. The Bill of Rights has been the guide or Leitfaden for CECUA's activity and ever since the Conference CECUA has been advocating and addressing those issues on many occasions also at the level of the European Commission, Committee of the Regions and the European Parliament. Today being a citizen of the information society is synonym with being a user of the Internet. Children and adults are taught how to use the Internet, hardware, software and communications have become more affordable. However, the concerns have not gone away. They may be different but they are still there. Indeed some are much worse to take the example of viruses, Trojan horses and Spam etc. Generally speaking the Internet is rather like the Wild West - there are no sheriffs, lots of criminals who are making money at the citizen's expense and it is time to get the things under control before the Internet is destroyed as an invaluable source of information and a tool for the use with trust and confidence by the ordinary citizen and young person. Therefore, I think that the concerns of today are very well described by the title of this conference: Identity, trust and confidence, security in the digital world.

Due to shortness of time I can only deal with one of these vitally important topics and I have chosen Identity. And I will deal with the topic from the citizen's, consumer's or computer user's perspective.

As a starting point let me refer you to CECUA Bill of Rights, Article 4 on Cultural Preservation:

"The Citizen shall have the right to communicate in his native tongue, and to work and conduct official business in an Official language of the sovereign state of his residence."

The meaning of this is quite clear. Regardless, what kind of communication the native tongue can be used. Of course this also includes Cyberspace. All communication starts with selecting who to communicate with. In practical terms it means selecting a name or identity of whom to communicate with. All cultures share the tradition to give each person a name to go by. We are given this name early in our lives and we keep it all our lives. Being a citizen of the information society means having a name in Cyberspace. Why can't we keep the same name in Cyberspace too? And people would like the Cyberspace name to be the same as the name they go by daily.

The dual naming, separate Cyberspace name, is a stumbling block for many to join the information society. It makes it hard on them to have two names, the Cyberspace one, usually some sort of an abbreviation. And it makes it hard for their friends to reach them. We all know this from own experience. CECUA maintains that it is a human right to be able to use one's own name in Cyberspace too. This should be a right guaranteed to every person.

Another and related issue is the writing of the Cyberspace names. Presently, only English language characters are allowed to be used. This is another violation of human rights. Not only should a person have a right to have own name in Cyberspace but also to write it the same as the name the person goes by daily using his own language or mother tongue. Most languages have their own characters or accents. The accents have to be stripped off and own characters replaced by English ones and the result is a mutilated name. Some people have called the demand for national characters in Cyberspace names "trumped-up nationalism" and "anti-competitive". Those are strong words. And they are so wrong. This is a human right. Simple as that.

Unfortunately, time does not allow me to deal with the other issues here, but you find more on them on The key to moving forward is to realize that the Internet has two sides, the technical one and the people one. Too long we have focused only on the technical one. The people issues can all be brought together under the term of Internet Governance. Internet Governance is a global issue and international Governance should be laying down the rules, policing the Internet and dealing with criminals in a manner which is commensurate with the crime (instead saying you are a naughty boy and give a nominal fine or custodial sentence). Without strong and positive action now we shall lose the battle with criminals and disaffected citizens to create a lawful, safe and secure Global Information Society. To achieve this calls for cooperation and consensus of many people in many places. Conferences like the CECUA and Partner one in 1998, the European Union EC-Pop committee, the European Parliament European Internet Foundation, Autran Conferences and Domain name Summits and the WSIS Conference in Geneva and today's Conference in Paris to name a few are all important milestones on the road to Internet Governance. However, a more concentrated action is needed at the European level and CECUA has proposed to set up an Internet Governance multi-stakeholder forum to discuss the issues and present recommendation at the European level. Similar arrangements are needed in other areas. But Europe could lead the way because conditions in Europe with its multilingual and differently accentuated characters is a model for all users in all cultural regions found in the world of Cyberspace.

I would like to conclude by thanking the organizers for their foresight and initiative to organize this conference.

Dr. Jon Thor Thorhallsson (Jón Þór Þórhallsson)


Colloque "Identity, Trust & Confidence, Security in a digital world"
Ecole des mines de Paris, 12/02/2004
Internet Governance: Toward a new Paradigm
Richard Delmas, CE-DG INFSO, GAC Secretariat
The management of Internet is at a turning point. After the "self governance" mode of the initial years, the necessity for a new model is growing. At the World Information Society Summit in Geneva last December, it was decided to set a Working Group of the United Nations to produce a Report on governance issues for the next Summit to be held in Tunis end of 2005.
At the same time, the ICANN process has been extended until October 2006, when the MoU with the Department of Commence is due to be revised.
Therefore there is an urgent need for the research and business community to jointly gather ressources and initiatives. The objective is to achieve a common vision and to build an efficient organisation for the Internet Governance before end of 2005.
The main issues at stake are, among others, the following :
· enforcement of international law and national law when applicable
· sovereignty over the zone files and the country code top level domains
· performance of the DNS architecture, in particular as regards security and privacy requirements
· fair and equitable allocation of domain and address ressources, deployment of Ipv6
· societal impact, multilinguism, peer to peer and collaborative work

In order to analyse and map these questions we need to set up working groups of academics and experts which will prepare positions papers and will participate to relevant meetings.
This should be done trough an interdisplinary approach with "virtual colleges". Colleges will work on-line through lists of diffusion, blogs, WIKI, etc. and would meet physically when appropriate. A periodic on-line newsletter is envisaged.
Moreoaver the legal stature for an association with open membership are being prepared.
At this stage, 4 virtual colleges could be set up:
1) e-government, 2) research, 3) users & business models, 4) civil society and NGOs.

The "e-governance" agenda is the following :
· ITU Workshop on Internet Governance, 27/02, Geneva
· ICANN and GAC meetings: Roma 29/02-6/03
· UN-ICT Task Force, Global Forum, N-Y-C, 27-29/03
· Colloque COMMINT, Ministry of Research, France, 27&28/06, Paris
· 3rd Etats Generaux Nommage & Adressage, Paris 1/07
· ICANN & GAC: Kuala Lumpur, 18-23/07
· Internet Identity and Security: European approaches, Bbi Berlin Genshagen, end 2005 More information on:

Identity, trust and confidence,
security in a digital world
WSIS of Geneva and preparation of a Follow up
to prepare the Tunis Summit

February 12, 2004 - 18h15-22h00
Ecole des Mines de Paris - 75006 Paris

Marie-Anne Delahaut
advisor, head of the Information Unit and network administrator
The Destree Institute *
Internet Society Wallonie *

Introduction to the first round table

After the WSIS of Geneva (2003) and in order to prepare the Tunis Summit (2005), a conference has been co-organized by Cecua, G9+, Eurolinc and Isoc-France in partnership with Afnic, Medef and Cigref, in Paris (Ecole des Mines) last February, 12, 2004.

Chaired by Erika Mann, Member of the European Parliament and President of the European Internet Foundation, the conference "Identity, trust and confidence, security in a digital world" was structured in two round tables, "Issues and concerns" and "Perspectives".

The organizers had in mind to found this conference's works in space and in time.

Time for a structured assessment of Geneva's WSIS, time to work and to act during about twenty months before the second phase of the Summit in November 2005. The tiny period of time allowed to this conference's agenda is a powerful starter to gather partnerships in order to implement proposals related to the WSIS action plan, in the field of Internet governance in particular.

As for space, it is widely opened by the organizers of this conference. Anchored in Paris, in a renowned place of operational research in the field of the development of knowledge as well as in the excellence of technologies, it collects and diffuses, on the human level, the sharp forces of a wide-area network of expertise. This space opens, through the speakers' diversity, to France, to Europe and to the world.

The large audience of this first meeting is a good omen to reinforce "Identity, trust and confidence, security in a digital world". The goal is to bridge the digital divides with ICTs as a tool, in accordance with ethics and the principles of the Humans Right : to strengthen economic and social sustainable development, to ensure equality between women and men, to reinforce accessibility and inclusion, to ensure freedom of expression, to develop the rights of all people on Earth, to promote cultural and linguistic diversity, to open access to knowledge.

Colloquium "Identity, Trust & Confidence, Security in a digital world" Ecole des mines de Paris, 12/02/2004

Louis Pouzin
Eurolinc France

This panel contribution focuses on two topics: multi-lingualism and research activities in the Internet field.


A slogan is often heard: "Internet is for everyone". This is dead wrong. Internet is only for those who can write their own name in a degraded English alphabet of 37 characters, that is even less than the telex character set..

To become a pervasive tool for everyone in every country the Internet must allow the use of natural language alphabets in domain names. Search engines must index documents in local languages, taking full account of each language semantics. Language is an intrinsic constituent of people cultures.

There exist already character code standards for a number of languages, e.g. western and central Europe. However, from its inception thirty years ago, the Internet has been developed for an English speaking population that represents only a tiny minority of the needs of the whole world. It is ample time for a change. This can only happen if countries and linguistic groups take their interests in their own hands. The .eu domain was supposed to cater to the linguistic diversity of the European Union. We would like to know if there is any evidence that this is on the way.


The Internet architecture was designed at the turn of the 70's. It was revised once with the transition to TCP/IP and datagram infrastructure in the early 80's. At this time there were but a few tens of thousand interconnected computers. There are now billions of communicating objects. Nevertheless the architecture has been frozen for the past twenty years, while the technical environment was constantly changing. Innovation occurs only in applications. This is a rather intriguing situation calling for a critical review. Peer to peer traffic amounts to about half the volume of transmitted data, while the architecture is still biased to client-server transactions supported by a centralized name directory.

New research is sorely needed to devise the future Internet of 10 billion users and thousand times more communicating objects. Instrumentation, security, multilingualism, subsiduarity, should be innate in the fabric of a worldwide communications system. Some of those qualities have been better implemented in the GSM than in the present Internet.

A European research project, driven by several well-known research labs, is in the planning stage. More information will be available in the near future.

The WSIS and the Academics
Françoise Massit-Folléa
Researcher in communication studies - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lettres et Sciences humaines (Lyon, France)

Every scholar in the world is involved in the international network, both for private and professional life. We can regret, however, the few part of social scientists whose research fields are dedicated to the "Information Society" phenomena.
Especially in France, it seems that this topic is under-estimated as a deep move in the conduct of human affairs in the XXIst century. We can agree with the assumption of the weakness of "Information Society" as a clearing concept, not with the lack of interest to be found in studying its foundations, representations and impacts. If we find it is "propaganda", we have to recognize it as pretty successful - and wonder why ! And we can try to go through the mirror of high-tech and bureaucratic experts languages.
The Geneva Summit was an event that deserves to be put under scrutiny, mainly because of the wide range of the stakeholders and the rich material made available online during the preparatory meetings. As the process is not over, we hope that the second phase (to be held in Tunis, on December 2005) will provoke a larger interest. As Bruno Oudet told us in this meeting, we have to "popularize" Internet challenges for the growing population of internet users.

One of the main issues for this second phase is the governance of the internet. Being a part of a wider topic (the sense of the word "governance" in the management of public, economic and social policies), the governance of the internet is crucial for itself. As the number of net-users is more and more important all over the world, we must think about the internet architecture and topology, the management of the technical resources together with the supervision of the contents.
Usually we face antagonical couples : identity vs classification, propriety rights vs collaborative creation, safety vs responsibility, freedom of expression and freedom of business vs State control, national sovreignty vs international medium, and so on. But a pragmatical approach is not so contradictory with a normative one. Except if we forget that the production of the "norms" in a changing world is neither technically, nor legally, nor culturally determinated. In fact it requires all of the three.
We can agree with a concept of governance as not formalized but produced in a subtile social construct between diverse actors' systems, a continuous development of human and technological interactions.
The point is that everyone willing to participate could have the right and the capacities to do so in order to make the macro-system of the internet as democratical as it can be. Trying to enlarge its figure of a "common good" is the more respectful attitude regarding the promises of the Pioneers times : the cyberspace as a real new civic space.

Ahmedou Haouba, Nouakchott University dean-Mauritania-International Afnic College President

The AFNIC International College (IC)
Identity, trust and confidence, security in the digital world
Paris Conference, 12th of February 2004

Presentation of the International College

The International College currently has 30 members from 16 countries, including 13 NICs. Three continents are represented: Africa, America and Europe. The International College also includes educational bodies (universities, etc) and providers.

The International College assists its members and the developing countries in:
- organizing high-level information technology instructor trainings (FFTI) in Morocco, Guinea, Niger, Tunisia and Mexico...
- providing NIC guidance for the management and the development of NICs (Afghanistan, Senegal, Haiti, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Vietnam…)
- representing AFNIC support through different events (CAPTEF, Nigeria, Algeria (French delegation of the Minister Nicole Fontaine on the 26th of January 2004), Morocco (French-Maroccan committee on the 9th of February 2004), …

The International College: a contributor to the Internet Governance

The International College participated in the ITU workshop on Member States' experience with ccTLDs ( Geneva, 3 and 4th of March 2003). It also contributed to the WSIS "Which model for the Internet governance"?, highlighting the needs of a regional organization for the Internet governance.

Two key-aspects: identification and trust

AFNIC has been working on two of the main aspects of the Internet : identification and trust.
A systematic identification makes the owner of a domain name liable for the information it provides, and creates a dependable Whois database at the same time.
Trust and confidence are strengthened by the publication of "trust seals". Each owner of a domain name can also register to be delivered specialised "trust seals". The labelling of a site may concern children Internet protection, economical seals...

Michel-Yves Peissik, Ambassador to the WSIS (France)
The results of the Geneva WSIS : a road map for a better management of the Internet

The achievements of the Geneva Summit
The conflicting positions of the states participating to the Summit have finally become the expression of a consensus of the international community. The negotiation has finally disposed of the elements of secondary importance and a common awareness of the problems arising from the growth of electronic communications and the web system has emerged. The concrete experience in the use of the Internet for more than 10 years has been very helpful because it validated the problems under review during the Summit and the solutions it envisaged.
The Summit had also the merit to define with clarity the questions it could not solve, be it in relation to the "new rules of the game" for the Internet or to its economic development dimension. That is why it is important to draw all the conclusions from this summit and not to shelve any of them.

Internet management and governance
As far as the Internet is concerned, we enter, thanks to the Geneva summit, into a transformation phase the successive stages of which should determined with care. Everyone feels the importance of the analysis and proposals that will be examined by the Tunis Summit in this respect and their impact in the following months since they will have to take into account the changes proceeding from the growing diversity in applications and usages of the internet and the ensuing consequences on the responsibilities of the different stakeholders. It is therefore of the utmost importance, at a time when many elements of diversity will be introduced into the working of the Internet, to pay a special attention to maintaining its cohesion.

Bruno Oudet
French SMSI civil society coordinator

I am speaking from the point of view of an observer at WSIS, the World Summit on the Information Society (Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005)

Internet governance has now become one of the three major issues of the summit (besides funding, and partnership development) . This came rather as a surprise. At first, there seems to be a consensus that the Internet was developing smoothly under the dominant role of ICANN. Many
governments (an opinion shared by the business sector representative) hold the view that everything was working fine and we should not touch it. The civil society was rather silent on this subject, a silence which could also be explained by the active presence among the civil society of quite a few ICANN's friends.

It was only at PrepCom2 in September (three month before the Geneva summit) that a group of countries "the like minded countries" (Brazil, South Africa, China ...) started to raise their voice to require that the present Internet governance should be discussed and reviewed during the period between the two summits (Geneva Dec 2003 and Tunisia Nov 2005). They "call on the secretary general of ITU... to establish and coordinate a task force to investigate and make proposals on the governance of Internet by 2005 addressing the following ..." This proposition was formulated in the Internet governance working group and promoted forcibly by the "like minded Countries" on the floor of the plenary despite the strong opposition by leading countries from the North. The final result of this battle on Internet governance is the 50th paragraph in the declaration of principle "International Internet governance issues that should be addressed in a coordinated manner. We ask the Secretary-General of the United Nations to set up a working group on Internet governance, in an open and inclusive process that ensures a mechanism for the full and active participation of governments, the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries, involving relevant intergovernmental and international organizations and forums, to investigate and make proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance of Internet by 2005. "

Since the Geneva summit in early December, meetings on internet governance have been planned at national and regional levels (this is the case in France and at the EU level) and the international level by the ITU and UN ICT task force. The multiplication of meetings on the Internet governance is not without raising difficulties to the civil society which is not yet organised to provide alternative views to the ICANN model.


Ingrid Poni
South African delegation to WSIS

South Africa is one of a group of like minded countries comprising Brazil, India, China, Kenya, Saudi Arabia which worked together to mobilise for change in the area of internet governance and management. These 6 countries between them serve population of more than two billion and their internet growth is growing at a rapid pace.
The key concerns for these developing countries is related to ensuring that current global dialogue fosters effective participation by the diverse stakeholders. This is not the case in the current environment. Government's participation has been peripheral at best and to reinforce this point I have taken the liberty of quoting some assertions made by the President of ICANN, Stuart Lynn in his report - the case for reform in 2002. Stuart Lynn says "I have come to the conclusion that the original concept of a purely private sector body based on consensus and consent , has been shown to be impractical. The fact that many of those critical to global coordination are still not willing to participate fully and effectively in the ICANN process is strong evidence of this fact."

As developing country governments we have called for reform because of concerns related to
Legitimacy - the fact that a body which performs what is perceived to be a global function is governed by one country's law is a source of tension since it impacts on country's sovereignty. The United Nations is the only legitimate international body to offer this to date.
Accountability- creates rules for the market for domain names. Indirectly impacts on issues pertaining to competition, privacy, intellectual property laws that require an internationalised approach and adherence to both national and international laws.
Affordability - national and regional internet exchange centres are virtually non existent in Africa contributing to the high cost of accessing the internet.
Public interest - governments play a unique role in representing the broad public interest of their citizens thus more effective and active involvement is essential. Thus in order to foster trust and confidence the various stakeholders including government have to be involved. One may well argue that the civil society has a voice in the current body but the concern for most countries is that community needs are not really articulated since the individuals mostly represent either individual interests or their employers' interest

Fourthly SECURITY as indicated by Stuart Lynn the stable functioning of the Internet's naming and address allocation systems is too important to national economies and other national goals for government to be left on the sidelines. ICANN determines the basis on which registration data is made available to the public, including eventually personal data.

Government's quest to be more involved in internet governance should be viewed with this background in mind. The goal is not to regulate the internet but rather to ensure the effective implementation of policies relating to security, multilingualism amongst others.
The call for reform is also in recognition of the fact that the Internet has grown so rapidly that it impacts on the national policies of countries thus requiring a more coordinated involvement. The ICANN organisation has failed to address critical challenges such as multilingualism, internationalisation of domain names and security related matters